The Washington State University Everett building is setting the tone for the brand-new WSU branch campus. The new campus will expand access to STEM-focused programs, and the new building truly pays homage to this field of study. This is the building that will define the campus. Paired with Everett Community College across the street, the campus creates an entire education district where students can seek higher learning of all types.
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The campus is 1.5 acres. The west edge of the building traces North Broadway, a bustling street. On the south side is a broad plaza, a unifying area where busy students will walk by on their way to class. On the north side, there’s a courtyard made for studying, events, quiet reflection and activities.
The building includes a four-story atrium known as the Innovation Forum. This area connects two entry points. Inside the building, you can also find a tiered lecture hall, a media-rich classroom, student service areas and a student lab. The building also includes faculty offices, conference rooms, classrooms, student seminar rooms and engineering labs.
A wood staircase is the highlight of the atrium. It is custom-bent and made with glued lamella stringers. The staircase was made from regional materials and pays homage to the Pacific Northwest timber industry.
As for the project’s sustainable features, the Everett building is LEED-Gold certified. In fact, the building’s thermal envelope exceeds state energy code standards by 10%. Meanwhile, the windows and louvers are mechanically operable to provide natural ventilation. The hydronic radiant floor reuses heat taken from the building’s data center, and an array of photovoltaics on the roof helps provide energy. There’s also a 20,000-gallon cistern that captures rainwater. This system provides 100% of the toilet and urinal flushing water needed from September to June while diverting excess to irrigation.
Photography © Benjamin Benshneider